Business and the Environment Specialization

specializations BUSINESS

Purpose and Scope

As the human demand for goods and services continues to grow, businesses face increasing risks to the resource systems on which they rely – from materials, to energy, water, food, climate and biodiversity. Many businesses also create pollution and waste, imposing costs and risks on the communities in which they operate.
Not only do these risks drive a search for greater productivity in resource use, they also create opportunities for entirely new businesses to develop – offering new materials and approaches to meeting human needs in ways that are supportive of resilient resource systems. As a result, increasing numbers of companies are seeking to hire graduates who bring both scientific and business knowledge to addressing these risks and opportunities. At the same time, as environmental organizations continue to grow, more and more of them are looking to business for examples of financial, organizational and operational models to improve their effectiveness.
The purpose of this specialization is to help F&ES students who are interested in working on environmental issues in for-profit organizations, or in NGOs and public agencies that partner with for-profit organizations, be well prepared to do so. This specialization will be particularly helpful for MEM students with an environmental science or policy background and less experience with business concepts.
The specialization starts with two core classes that lay out the principles around which businesses are organized and managed. From there, students tend to gravitate toward work that is focused on either (a) companies that make things or (b) businesses that finance such activities. Quantitative skills will be important to both areas of work. As such, students are required to take four electives from a designated set, including at least one from the quantitative group.

Specialization Coordinators: Marian Chertow, Brad Gentry


Two required courses.
F&ES 807Corporate Environmental Management and Strategy
MGT 502 Foundations of Accounting and Valuation


Students must take four courses from the list below, including at least one Quantitative course or one Finance course and one from the other electives.


F&ES 638Carbon Footprints, Modeling and Analysis
F&ES 753Regression Modeling of Ecological and Environmental Data
F&ES 758Multivariate Data Analysis in the Environmental Sciences
F&ES 811Metrics, Tools and Indicators in Corporate Responsibility


F&ES 635Renewable Energy Project Finance
F&ES 636Sustainable Finance
F&ES 680Forest and Ecosystem Finance
MGT 842 Financing Green Technologies

Additional Electives

Other courses or independent projects may be used to satisfy elective requirements subject to approval of the faculty coordinator of the specialization.
F&ES 659The Practice of Silviculture: Principles in Applied Forest Ecology (Friday field trips)
F&ES 742Fundamentals of Working with People
F&ES 800Energy Economics and Policy Analysis
F&ES 814Energy Systems Analysis
F&ES 819Strategies for Land Conservation
F&ES 824Environmental Law and Policy
F&ES 838Life Cycle Analysis
F&ES 884Industrial Ecology
F&ES 885Green Engineering and Sustainability
F&ES 894Green Building: Issues and Perspectives
MGT 525 Competitive Strategy
MGT 532 Business Ethics
MGT 541 Corporate Finance
MGT 557 Design and Marketing of New Products
MGT 635 Venture Capital and Private Equity Investment
MGT 862 Introduction to Responsible Business
MGT 872 Managing Sustainable Operations
MGT 873 Supply Chain Management
MGT 893 Non-Market Strategy
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